September 23, 2019

Umeboshi Roe Pasta

Umeboshi Roe Pasta

flying fish roe, japanese, pasta, recipe, Roe, sauce, tobiko, Umeboshi, sour plum, fermented plum
By Published: 2019-09-23
This lovely pasta dish is actually a happy mistake...no, not a mistake, more like a happy meander that occurred when we were trying to recreate another Japanese dish known as mentaiko pasta (which is super nom nom!)  The problem with recreating that particular dish is that we couldn't find the main ingredient for it, Japanese cured cod roe.  So we played around and came up with something just as good (we think!Our Umeboshi Roe Pasta is a simple to make creamy yet light pasta with a delicately tangy sauce dotted with umami bursts of roe that is so delicious and totally addictive.  Umeboshi really rock the flavor!

flying fish roe, japanese, pasta, recipe, Roe, sauce, tobiko, Umeboshi,

These little gems are umeboshi plums.  The flavor of these both salty and sour fermented plums is unique and a super important fixture in Japanese cuisine.  We've only recently started exploring the culinary possibilities of these wonderful little plums.  Umeboshi are the made from plums called ume, which are brined and fermented with red perilla leaves (also known as shiso leaves) thus giving the umeboshi its wonderful pink color.  Umeboshi are usually a bit bigger and more wrinkled than the ones shown in the photo, we found these small umeboshi and love their delicate flavor.


Do note that different umeboshi and umeboshi paste have differing degrees of sour and saltiness.  Therefore use our recipe as a guide but adjust for the particular umeboshi that you end up using.  In other words taste and adjust!

flying fish roe, japanese, pasta, recipe, Roe, sauce, tobiko, Umeboshi,

The umeboshi needs to destoned.  It's easy enough, just squeeze gently between thumb and finger and the pit should pop out.  Use a small knife to scrape any leftover flesh off the stone.  Be forewarned, however, your fingers will turn the most lovely shade of pink!  Once the flesh is gathered it needs to be mashed.  A pestle and mortar, or the side end of a rolling pin, just use something to smush them up.

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This pasta sauce is simple to make but nuanced and rewarding in taste, my favorite kind of sauce.  The umeboshi mash is cooked down with a bit of stock, olive oil and butter.  The flavor balance is adjusted with sugar and a splash of vinegar.

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This pasta doesn't take much time to make.  It's a two in one where the sauce is cooked down while the pasta is boiled.  That way they're ready at pretty much the same time.  

We like to use thin spaghetti pasta for this dish.  We've recently been addicted to pasta made in Japan, the ones we buy cook up really smooth and lovely and we like them almost better than the Italian ones!  (Sacrilegious I know but tis a truly nice pasta!)

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Ten minutes later, everything's cooked and it's time to combine the umeboshi pasta sauce with the pasta.  But that's not all there is to this sauce, turn off the heat and there is the final magical step: a generous dollop of cream and a couple spoonfuls of roe to round off the sauce.  Cover and let all that gorgeous cream absorb in.  We used flying fish roe, also known as tobiko, which are small enough to cling everywhere to the sauce coated pasta, creating wonderful bursts of flavor as you bite into the pasta.


Now there's nothing left to do but to plate up.  Be sure to add a generous dollop of roe on top of each serving.  Sprinkle with a bit of thinly sliced rounds of spring onion, or julienned perilla leaves if you can get them.  YUM...tangy, creamy, silky, bursting with flavor and textures...  I love this Umeboshi Roe Pasta dish!

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Umeboshi Roe Pasta Recipe
(4 servings)Prep time: Cooking time:

Ingredients 
8 oz spaghetti, 226g
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup umeboshi plums (or 2-3 tbsp umeboshi paste)
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 cup fish stock (chicken stock is fine too)
3/4 cup cream
6 tbsp flying fish roe
1 tbsp spring onion, cut to rounds

Directions:

Deseed umeboshi.  Mash the umeboshi flesh with mortar and pestle.

Boil pasta according to package instructions until al dente.  Drain.

While the pasta is cooking make the sauce.  In a small pan heat up oil and butter, then add in mashed umeboshi and stock and simmer over low heat until thickened and reduced by half.  Add sugar and vinegar, tasting and adjusting as needed.  When the flavor balance is to your liking add in pasta and mix to combine.  Turn off heat and add cream and 2 tbsp of roe.  Mix thoroughly, cover and remove from heat.  Let sit for 3 mins. 

Portion the pasta into serving dishes , add tbsp of roe and sprinkle of spring onions on top of each portion of pasta and serve hot and tangy and delicious.  Enjoy!


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